Hell Island by Matthew Reilly

I had never anything by Matthew Reilly before and to be honest I wasn't expecting much from it. Thank goodness for that because there definitely wasn't much to Hell Island.

Teams of elite forces sent unknowingly to their doom on an unmapped island. An army of giant apes controlled by microchips in their brains, sent to kill everything in their path.

What can I say…. it was just silly. There's no other word for it. I don't want to be mean, and who am I to judge, but the writing was not good. Compared to what I might normally read anyway. Too many exclamation marks in the text. Maybe I am just being a bit fussy but I think that exclamation marks should be confined to speech only, and even then they should be used sparingly if at all.

Obviously I have got a bit off track and that's because there's really nothing much to say about this. Why am I writing this then, I hear you ask? Because I feel like it at the moment and I think it only fair to people to warn people before they pick this book up that they should lower their expectations… very low.

To be fair, it was a good choice for the time at which I chose to read it. I was in the middle of a big criminal trial that was stressing me out and making me easily distracted, so this book didn't pose any kind of challenge to me.

This book is what it is, and that isn't very good.

I am not going to rate this book - I feel too "eh" about it to give it a rating.

Have you read this book or anything else by Matthew Reilly? I would be interested to know what you think of his books if you have.

Quotes from Jasper Fforde's "One of our Thursdays is Missing": I thought you might find them funny!

I am both sad and happy to be reading the final Thursday Next instalment from Jasper Fforde.

I thought that as I went along I might share any great quotes that I come across with you. There are so many hilarious quotes that I will only share with you the one's that I think are absolutely the most hilarious and those that are perhaps the most spot on about various modern day cultural issues.

The first quote is from page 2 of my edition and had me laughing out loud. I think that it might only be really appreciated by people who had read/tried to read Martin Amis, but for those of you that have it's hilarious.

The conversation is between the written Thursday Next (T) and a Designated Love Interest named Whitby Jett (W) who is an out of work fictional character peddling labour-saving Narrative Devices for EZ-Reads.

"T: 'Any work offers recently?' I asked.
W: 'I was up for a minor walk-on in an Amis.'
T: 'How did you do?'
W: 'I read half a page and they asked me what I thought. I said I understood every word and so I was rejected for being overqualified.'"

So funny.

The second quote is from page 73, where we have this gem:

"The taxi was the usual yellow-and-check variety, and could either run on wheels in the conventional manner or fly using advanced Technobabble (TM) vectored gravitational inversion thrusters. This had been demanded by the Sci-Fi fraternity, who has been whingeing on about hover-cars and jet-packs for decades, and needed appeasing before they went and did something stupid, like allow someone to make a movie based on the title of the book known as I, Robot."

The third quote is a little more serious and is from from Bradshaw's BookWorld Companion (emphasis below is from the book):

"... Here in the BookWorld the protagonists and antagonists, gatekeepers, shape-shifters, heroes, villain, bit-parts, knaves, comedians, and goblins were united in that they possessed a clearly defined motive for what they were doing: Entertainment and Enlightenment. As far as any of us could see, no such luxury existed in the unpredictable world of the readers. The Outland was extraordinarily well named..."

Fforde is comic genius if you ask me.

By The Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s By the Pricking of My Thumbs is one of the strangest Christie’s novels I have read for a long time, perhaps ever.

It is a Tommy and Tuppence novel, not two of my favourite of her characters, but I will admit that I liked the more mature Tommy and Tuppence in this novel. When Tommy’s great Aunt Ada passes away in , Tuppence becomes involved the disappearance of an apparently nice old lady. Tuppence doesn’t give much credit to her assertions of a murdered child inside the fire place, but the more Tuppence investigates the disappearance, the closer she comes to the truth of the child behind the fireplace and the bigger the danger she places herself in.

By the Pricking of My Thumbs didn’t seem to receive good reviews when it was published. I imagine it is because this book feels a lot less like her plot driven mysteries where Piorot and Marple try to figure out the clues, and a lot more like a modern day crime novel or thriller. There are not the clues throughout the book to figure out the resolution to the mystery, but the book is still as tense as Christie’s other books, and perhaps even a little more melodramatic than usual.

Although it wasn't her usual style of story, I enjoyed it a lot and kept reading it until the very end.

6 / 8 
Really enjoyable and well written. I would recommend it.

I would love to know what you thought of this Christie mystery of you have read it. What did you think of an older Tommy and Tuppence and did you think that this quite different to her usual stories/?